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Letters to the Editor: Forget this school year and focus on reopening in August

Parents demonstrate in downtown L.A.
Parents demonstrate in favor of reopening campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District in downtown L.A. on Feb. 22.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Can we all just step back, take a deep breath and stop with the frenzied rush to reopen schools? (“Which way schools? America needs a straight answer,” editorial, Feb. 18)

Realistically, the additional educational losses, either academic or social, in the remaining 2½ months of the current school year are negligible when viewed in the context of the past year.

Of course we are hearing mixed messages on schools, because reopening schools is complicated. The science, still emerging, is not definitive. The on-the-ground reality of reopening schools is hugely problematic, requiring adequate distancing of classroom desks, adequate supply of hand sanitizers and masks, and partial-day schedules for students who will have to stagger attendance.

With COVID-19 shots now at hand, let’s concentrate on getting everyone vaccinated between now and August and then fully reopen schools for the 2021-22 school year in a well-planned and safe manner.

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Carl Allender, Glendale

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To the editor: At 16 years old, I am spending almost my whole day alone in my room, only able to see my classmates and my teacher through organized tiny boxes on my computer screen.

Political leaders need to take a step back and look at this problem as if they were high school students instead of politicians. But instead of looking through the eyes of students, adults are spending their time politicizing the issue.

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It is time for politics to be put aside and for children to become the priority. It is only fair that Gen Z too should have a shot at a normal, safe, on-campus school experience.

Ella Davis, Manhattan Beach

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To the editor: I appreciate your focus on the issue of opening schools. I’ve been teaching in a large public high school in Los Angeles for the past 22 years. I also proctored SAT exams when they were given in person.

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This much is clear: The elephant in the room is class size. When I asked private school students who came to test what their class sizes looked like, they would say between 10 and 15 kids. In contrast, my average classes have numbered 40 students.

To those who bash unions and want to send teachers back to public schools without vaccines, I say use your imagination. I’ll bet that with some of you, each time you see a gaggle of teens coming your way, you quickly cross the street.

Ronnie Cohen, Los Angeles


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